body image / canadian poetry / canadian poets / envy / natasha head / poetry by natasha head / poetry by tashtoo / selfhate / selflove / tashtoo

Taker of Dreams

Wanting only to be part of something
She shapes herself to fit
Smothering her eternal light
As she struggles to find her place ~ her face
Letting straps slip off sun kissed shoulders
Just like her mama taught her
Just a hint of what waits
Beyond the hunger pains
Beyond the seams
That hold her confined
Images of the unattainable
Decorate a child’s vanity
Airbrushed hopes and dreams
That no reality could withstand.
She turns to the dark
Where even the shadows mock
Her awkwardness
Turning her against herself
Where the damage will forever last
The price to be paid
To the taker of dreams

Girl in Mirror ~ Norman Rockwell

11 thoughts on “Taker of Dreams

  1. Oh, the pains which false images can induce. This is a powerful plea to limit the damage caused by impossible expectations and the fashion industry's desire to influence young lives. Simply brilliant!

  2. Yep first two summed it up quite wellOne should start early to tell the so called society norms to go to hellOr they end up as your described aboveBroken, torn, without love

  3. Hi Natasha. much truth is this beautifully balanced piece. Very little I would change here but a few thoughts below. ‘eternal’ is a tad clichéd, I wondered if adolescent might be appropriate as it would pinpoint her age? You’ve used ‘just’ twice in consecutive lines, I’d cut one of them, possibly both as it’s one of those redundant words that adds little to a piece. Also turns/turning used very close together, how about 'spinning' instead, more interesting verb which would give a little more movement. ‘forever last’ feels awkward, ‘endure’ perhaps? Other than that I’d drop the capitals at the beginning of some of the lines and use some punctuation, both of which would improve the flow. Some stanza breaks would also aid the reader.Wanting only to be part of somethingshe shapes herself to fit;smothering her adolescent light.As she struggles to find her place ~ her face,letting straps slip off sun-kissed shoulderslike her mama taught her,a hint of what waitsbeyond the hunger pains,beyond the seamsthat hold her confined.Images of the unattainabledecorate a child's vanity;airbrushed hopes and dreamsthat no reality could withstand.She turns to the dark,where even the shadows mockher awkwardness;spinning against herselfwhere the damage will endure,the price to be paidto the taker of dreams.Please feel free to take as much or as little of this on board. Just one person’s opinion/take on an already very strong piece of writing.

  4. I have to say I'm not great at critiquing poetry. I was so caught up in the feel of your poem that I didn't notice anything. However, when I read the critique above, I saw that the second just could disappear without being missed. I quite like the first just though. I think it fits well in that line. I think this is a powerful piece 🙂 These are definitely feelings that all girls/women can relate to. I'm sure some men as well.

  5. Oh my, these are real life growing pains. Love shaping herself to fit and airbrushed (although hopes and dreams could be expressed with metaphors that would punch it further into the "oh wow" category). My crit is only suggestions. Please take what you want and toss the rest if you choose. If you rewrite and want me to take another look, please let me know.I find the capital letters at the beginning of each line break the flow. I read all poetry out loud and capitals cause me to pause my thought. Stanza breaks, at least one, would improve the readability. I think inserting a break at the line that begins with images and another at the "She turns to the dark" line.This is vivid poetry, conveying the emotion that begs for the reader to reach out and snatch her away from grown-up desires and put her back in childhood games.I hope I was able to help. Thanks for the opportunity and for listening. Beth

  6. I really appreciate how you have invited the reader into this poem .. easy to connect with the message and how you have expressed those painful her mama taught herThis is the line that for me carries the personal vibrancy of experience. I tend to agree about the capitals.. a slight breaker of flow. Finally, because this is already a strong piece, I wonder if it would be good to look at 'her' – when I re-read the poem, it felt just a little repetitive. Again, just one reader's take, so know you will take what you need and ignore what doesn't fit your intention. Enjoyed the read…

  7. Hello Natasha :),I too am horrible at critique. It's just that I'm a positive person to begin with…. So let me start with that. Your word usage is strong as is the idea that is formed within the poem. I really liked that it was a strong poem with a sense of direction. In my humble opinion, and it is personal taste, there is alot of places that repeat the word "her". Now that could be strategically placed, which then would make a case for the repetitive use of the word. The only other thing that I too wouldn't mind seing is breaks in the poem as well. But I really enjoyed this poem and the truth that rings throughout the poem. Good work 🙂

  8. This poem works on many levels. For me, your iterations of 'her' were reminders of the person behind the message. It may be even more powerful if she has a name. The need to understand what it is to transition from childhood to adulthood in a society that sexualizes young women is an important theme and one you handle well. The drive behind this self destruction sadly also involves an element of control. Often not eating is one of the few ways that a disempowered girl can express her power. What I have to offer is less critique and more encouragement. A writer with your perspicacity has great potential to shatter us with your words. A few specific words to take us out of the general message and into the life of a real girl would send this poem into heartbreaking territory. As you know, these are my thoughts alone and they may or may not have use for you in your process. Thank you very much for your potent message.

  9. You guys are all so amazing! This write is taking shape more than I could have ever hoped…and my fingers are itching to get away from this keyboard and grab my pen 🙂

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